From 2001: A Space Odyssey to Terminator, Star Trek’s Data to I, Robot’s Sonny, artificial intelligence (AI) has captured the imagination and spawned countless science fiction books, movies and video games. While walking, talking, sentient AI’s may still be years away, AI is nonetheless already making important inroads in today’s markets, thanks to consumer products like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexis.
In spite of this, many industries are still trying to figure out how to best use AI to serve their customers and gain a competitive advantage. One industry, however, that is already beginning to reap the benefits of AI is IT service management (ITSM). There are several ways AI can contribute to this industry.
Improved Customer Resources
One of the main ways that AI can help ITSM deliver greater value is through customers’ improved ability to find the information they need. For many customers, one of the challenges in finding solutions to problems through online resources and archives is not knowing exactly what to search for. Not only can this be a source of frustration to the end user, but it can also be costly for the organization. In fact, according to MetricNet, “If an end user spends more than 10 minutes in a self service portal, they cost the organization more money than calling the service desk.”
By using AI on the backend, ITSM can significantly increase the speed and accuracy of customer search results by recognizing patterns and more effectively interpreting and predicting what it is that a customer is trying to find. The more customers use a company’s support portal, the more efficient search results become, decreasing the amount of time it takes for customers to find what they’re looking for.
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While chatbots were often viewed as a novelty when they were first introduced, as their capabilities have increased, chatbots have increasingly become an important part of many organizations’ customer engagement. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020 the average individual will have more conversations with bots than their spouse.
This is another area where AI will continue to add value to ITSM. By better understanding human speech, as well as being able to more accurately interpret intent, chatbots will be able to better serve customer needs. Because of AI’s growing ability to handle complex support cases, service desks will be able to scale with increasing demands, while at the same time decreasing costs.
Better Data Analytics
One of the more interesting ways in which AI will continue to add value to service desk management is through improved data analytics. By using intelligent algorithms and machine learning to analyze previous user interactions, AI can help service staff be more productive and better help customers.
For example, based on previous calls and support tickets, AI can help offer insights to the service desk personnel, auto-populate text forms, suggest possible solutions and offer additional resources that the support staff may otherwise have missed.
AI and ITSM: A Perfect Match
Without a doubt, AI has a long way to go to reach the realms of science fiction. Nonetheless, when it comes to the ITSM industry, AI is already proving to be a game-changing advancement over traditional techniques and technology.
By integrating AI with existing service desk management, companies can increase the volume of service tickets being handled, as well as improve automated service options. Even live-person support is greatly improved thanks to the more relevant information that AI can help discover and provide. In the coming years, AI will continue to be a driving force in delivering greater value to ITSM.